Recently Justice Matthew Thorpe, commented about accusations of fault that have come before him in divorce petitions to support allegations required as grounds for a divorce in England. Justice Thorpe said that there would have be no need for the painful allegations and investigations if the government had enacted past proposals to allow no-fault divorce. The current system, said the judge, "seem to represent the social values of a bygone age.”
Under current English law, there are only five grounds for divorce, including adultery and abandonment. Grounds for divorce alleged in about half of the cases now filed fall into a general allegation of "unreasonable behavior." In this category, one party has to accuse the other of acting so unreasonably that living together has become intolerable.
One British divorce lawyer, Vanessa Lloyd Platt, recently compiled a list of some of the more bizzare allegations used in petitions accusing the other spouse of acting so unreasonably that living together has become intolerable. Here's a short version:
- My husband insists I dress in a Klingon costume and speak to him in Klingon.
- My wife has maliciously and repeatedly served me my least favorite dish, tuna casserole.
- My husband has not spoken to me for 15 years, communicating only by Post-it note.
- My wife “would without justification flirt with any builder or tradesman, inappropriately touching them and declaring that she could not stop herself.”
- My husband keeps his pet tarantula, Timmy in a glass case next to the matrimonial bed even though I've requested that Timmy sleep elsewhere.
- My husband has atrocious body odor.
- My husband repeatedly takes charge of the remote television controller, endlessly flicking through channels and fails to stop at any channel that I request.
- My wife spitefully tampers with the TV antenna and throws away his cold cuts. [Wife, on the other hand, said Husband usurped her control of the washing machine and failed to appreciate her revulsion for “intensely farmed meat.”]
Let's hope the law in the UK changes soon. What could be more simple than "the objects of matrimony have been destroyed and there remains no reasonable likelihood that the marriage can be preserved?" Let's let people have some dignity during the procedure.
You may read the entire article here: Lyall, Sarah. Tuna Again? In Fault-Finding Britain, It’s a Cause for Divorce. New York Times. April 7, 2012